CRM Case Study for Distributors

Find out how Cisco-Eagle Achieved Expense Reduction and Increased Revenue Growth by Uniting Disparate Cross-Team Customer Data.


Read our case study below, but you can also consider these CRMs that are being successfully used by Distributors.


Unlocking Success with a Unified Vision: Cisco-Eagle’s CRM Transformation Journey!

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In the bustling world of business, consistency is key, and for Cisco-Eagle, it’s all about conquering the battlefield of customer data! With a diverse family of around 9,000 clients, ranging from industry giants like Texas Instruments, Wal-Mart, to General Electric, the quest for maintaining accurate and timely customer data became a mission of utmost importance.

Picture this: A team of champions led by Chris Doyle, Cisco-Eagle’s marketing wizard, discovered that the realm of customer data was a bit of a wild jungle. Various departments were wielding different tools to manage this treasure trove of information – Microsoft Access, Excel, Outlook, and even web browser-based CRM tools. The result? A chaotic tapestry of data, leading to countless hours spent trying to piece it all together for a unified purpose.

Every time the marketing magicians conjured a customer outreach spell, like a direct mail campaign, they had to embark on a daunting quest. Their mission? To ensure the accuracy of customer data pulled from these disparate pools and present it in a reliable, actionable format. It was like an epic adventure, but not in a good way.

To put it simply, the customer data dilemma was not just a challenge; it was a costly dragon to slay. Cisco-Eagle estimated that this chaos was gobbling up around $55,000 a year in expenses – and that’s the modest estimate! The truth? It was probably even more.

But the warriors of Cisco-Eagle were not content with taming this dragon; they aimed to liberate their champions from the clutches of this time-consuming mission. Their goal? Redirect the energies spent on this avoidable task towards high-priority, revenue-generating activities.

But that’s not all! The lack of common threads tying their customer data and interactions was also causing them to lose out on golden opportunities. They spotted a treasure chest of sales inquiries and leads that weren’t receiving timely follow-ups due to process bottlenecks. Their conservative estimate suggested they were missing out on a potential $150,000 to $175,000 in gross profit per year.

And so, the heroes of Cisco-Eagle, after careful consideration, embarked on a heroic quest to seek a solution. They decided it was time to introduce a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution to rewrite their destiny.

Join us on this thrilling journey of transformation! Cisco-Eagle – Where chaos turns into consistency, and lost opportunities become golden treasure. It’s time to conquer the world of CRM!”


Cisco-Eagle actually began looking into CRM software seven or eight years prior to the issues outlined above fully came to fruition, but they heard too many nightmare tales of CRM vendors offering very expensive solutions which ultimately provided little functionality and minimal benefit.

Company executives also heard many stories of poor reliability, disastrous implementations with abysmal user adoption and virtually no return on investment. At the time, they realized CRM was a necessary tool, but with so many vendors still in the research and development phase, they simply didn’t want to pay for a solution, only to become a vendor’s guinea pig.

However, knowing the CRM industry had matured, and after the analysis revealing how many expenses the company could reduce and how much revenue could be increased by implementing a unified CRM solution, Cisco-Eagle decided it was worth another look.

“We looked at many solutions, Ultimately, we narrowed it down to three: Microsoft CRM, TeamScope and Avidian Technologies’ Prophet.”  Chris Doyle

Not leaving anything up to chance, an interdepartmental team was assembled to analyze the options and determine which solution would make the most sense for Cisco-Eagle. The group developed and prioritized a list of criteria they deemed as critical, including sales pipeline visibility, opportunity and proposal logs, robust reporting and configurability.

They also looked at non-functionality related criteria, such as how easy each solution would be for users to adopt and integrate into their daily routines and how efficient they felt the technical implementation would be.

“One additional area we really looked at was what customer references each vendor could provide us,” Doyle added. “To be honest, we had a hard time finding quality customer references for most of the companies we looked at. Avidian was the exception. They were able to provide great customer references, and the customers were all very satisfied. We actually did one end user site visit, spending a couple of hours understanding how they used the application. That assisted us in deciding Prophet was the CRM solution for us.”

The fact that Prophet is built into Microsoft Outlook also played a big role in Cisco-Eagle’s decision. “We use Outlook,” Doyle said. “Most if not all our employees are in Outlook for e-mail and calendaring all day long. So, naturally we felt the fact that Prophet simply adds all the CRM capabilities we were looking for to Outlook was a major plus. We felt this approach would allow us to be up and off to the races much faster. This proved to be the case.”


Cisco-Eagle has been up and running on Prophet since February of 2009. The company initially rolled the CRM out as a cross-team pilot program, including members of the sales and marketing teams. After just three months, Cisco-Eagle’s management team was pleased with the results the pilot team was achieving and the company-wide implementation was initiated.

“We had Avidian do an on-site pilot team and administrator training at the very beginning,” said Anne Miller, Cisco-Eagle’s education and training manager. “This was really helpful because the trainer was able to give us the pros and cons of some of the administrative decisions we were making. After that, we felt equipped to carry out the rest of the training ourselves. In all, the implementation went well; in fact, with eight offices across three states, the biggest challenge was simply the logistics of getting all our people trained.”

As predicted by Cisco-Eagle, selecting a CRM solution built into Outlook paid off in terms of user adoption.

“We really only have two or three users out of about 50 that aren’t using Prophet regularly for their contacts and opportunities,” Miller added. “We have 15 or so users that have really taken full advantage of the software and are using all the functionality regularly. I would say the majority of users are very happy, with only a couple who have had technical difficulties.”

Overall, Prophet has allowed Cisco-Eagle to do just what they set out to: unite disparate cross-team customer data and regain lost revenue due to inefficient and untimely sales lead follow up.

Doyle estimated the complete Prophet implementation cost Cisco-Eagle around $50,000. Meaning that within the first year alone, the CRM had essentially paid for itself by reducing the estimated $55,000 in expenses the company was incurring associated with incongruent customer databases.

“Not only did we see CRM literally pay for itself through expense reduction and efficiency gains,” Doyle said. “We also began capturing lost revenue thanks to having better CRM tools and processes in place for managing sales leads that were otherwise falling through the cracks. These revenue gains were significantly greater than what we achieved in expense reductions. In my opinion, CRM just makes good business sense. We’ve been happy with Prophet and the results.”

About Cisco-Eagle

Cisco-Eagle is one of the nation’s largest materials handling integrators and distributors, providing cutting edge system design and expert customer care. Services offered include systems integration; consulting; and equipment sales, service and maintenance. For more information, please visit

About Avidian Technologies

Avidian Technologies is a software company specializing in creating both cloud-based and on-premise software solutions for users of Outlook and Exchange. Prophet, developed by Avidian Technologies on the .NET platform, is the leading contact management and CRM software built inside Microsoft Outlook. The company is headquartered in Redmond, Washington. For more information, please visit

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